QUEENSLAND Reds flanker Eddie Quirk knows better than to complain to his mum Monica about any cuts or bruises after a tough game.
When the Reds play their first Super Rugby home game of season 2014 at Suncorp Stadium against the Cheetahs on Friday night, Quirk and his teammates will wear special Ladies Round jumpers carrying their mother's name underneath their playing number to acknowledge the significant role women play in rugby in Queensland.
Quirk's mother, Monica, is a cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in 2002. She was 42.
"I just went for a normal check up and they picked it up by ultrasound," said Mrs Quirk (pictured with son Ed) as she unveiled the pink jumper at Ballymore yesterday.
"I remember we had just brought the boys home from footy training and we got the phone call telling me I had breast cancer. It just throws you."
"It was a grade 4, very aggressive and if it hadn't been picked up early it may have been a different outcome. Women need to go for regular check ups and they need to have them younger."
Quirk said having his mum's name on the back of his jumper would have special significance for him and a few teammates who'd also been touched by cancer.
"We go out (on the field) and get amongst it and get beaten and come home and complain about washing and food every day," he said.
"But at the end of the day to see what mum went through and what a lot of women go through with breast cancer and other cancers I don't think we can contend with the pain those people got through."
Meanwhile, Quirk said the Reds players were feeling their own pain following their disappointing loss to the Waratahs at the weekend.
"They came out firing with a lot of intensity and you could tell they wanted it more than us," Quirk told APN. "We had the same intentions but when you get on the back foot like that in the first 10 minutes you have to play catch up. We didn't handle that too well."
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